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PBS Crepes or Pancakes

From: Terrie 
Sent: Sunday, December 08, 2013 9:48 PM
Subject: Search Recipe

I am looking for a recipe that i saw on a PBS station cooking show. i have searched everywhere. 
i hope you can help me. it is ethnic, but not sure which country. a holiday tradition. pancakes 
or crepes made in stacks. each one sprinkled with parmesan cheese and lots of cracked black pepper. 
then they are all rolled and fit in casserole pan. The final step is to pour chicken broth to cover, 
and heated through. Thank you so much!! 


Hi Terrie,

I had no success at all looking for a recipe for pancakes or crepes with cracked black pepper, parmesan cheese, and chicken broth.

Without either the name of the dish or the name of the PBS program on which you saw it, there's just not much I can do.

I will post your request on my site in the hopes that a reader can help.


From: Terrie 
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 5:40 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: PBS crepes or pancakes
the PBS program is WQED cooks.  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


I have looked at over 20 pages of recipes from QED Cooks, and I have searched the web every way that I know how. QED Cooks has been on for 20 years and has done hundreds of recipes, but I cannot find any QED Cooks recipe like your description. QED Cooks has a website at: WQED

They also have a page on the PBS website at: PBS

Both of those sites have dozens of QED Cooks recipes, and I checked them, but found nothing like you describe. Your description sounds incomplete to me, like its missing a main ingredient – some kind of meat, or another kind of cheese, or potatoes or something.

Your best bet is probably to post your request on QED Cooks Facebook page at: QED Cooks

Maybe you can at least find out the name of the dish. That would be a huge help.


thank you so much for all your trouble!  I have searched also.  but I will post facebook. 
I might have to buy all the WQED cookbooks. Ha ha. 
I am going to make it the way I remember and just perfect it. Thank you again.

There appears to be a photo of these crepes on the QED Cooks Facebook Page, but no recipe. See: Rolled-Up Crepes with Double Rich Chicken Broth



Hi Terrie,

Timm, one of my readers, sent the below recipe for crespelle ‘mbusse, which, while it is not from QED cooks, is very similar to your description. I wasn’t completely satisfied with this recipe, because it did not have the black pepper. Now that, thanks to Timm, I had the name “crespelle ‘mbusse”, I searched for other recipes for the dish. All the recipes that I found were in Italian, and all that I found except for Timm’s called for beef broth, and none had the black pepper. So, I kept looking. On some pages, I found the dish referred to by another name – “screpelle ‘mbusse”. I found recipes for this that were exactly like the recipes for “crespelle ‘mbusse”, with the beef broth and nutmeg, but I also found some recipes for it with black pepper and chicken broth and in English. See these pages:

Domenica Cooks


I also found that I already had recipes on my site for the “screpelle ‘mbusse” version with the beef broth and nutmeg here: 9-12-2005



Oh my goodness! You found it! That is the recipe! I have searched for eight years or more for this very recipe. 
And you found it so quickly. I can rest assured with this information. I am so happy. And grateful to you. 
This is great. I love you!! Ha ha . Thank you

While I am not sure which program Terrie was watching, from her description it appears the recipe was a version of 
Crespelle 'mbusse (there are spelling variations). 

Below is a recipe that may be similar to the one she is seeking.       

Timm in Oregon

Crespelle 'mbusse

Crepes in broth


1-1/2 to 2-1/2 quarts quality chicken broth
1 cup 00 flour
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano, plus more to finish
3/4 cup Pecorino, grated
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons minced Italian parsley plus more to finish
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to coat a fry pan


For the Crespelle: Place the flour, eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano, nutmeg and salt 
in blender or food processor, and process until well blended. Transfer the ingredients 
into a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons minced parsley. Cover and set aside 
for 20 minutes.

Heat 8 inch non-stick skillet and butter lightly. Add a scant 1/4 cup of batter to pan, 
just enough to cover the bottom. Tilt the pan to coat and cook over medium heat until 
edges are set, about 30 to 45 seconds. Flip and cook about a few seconds more until done. 
Remove to a plate and continue cooking crespelle, stacking them atop one another.

Bring chicken broth to the boil. As broth heats, place 12 crespelle flat on work surface. 
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Pecorino and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano over each and roll up tightly. 
Place 2 or 3 crespelle seam side down in wide rimmed soup bowls. Add boiling broth to cover, 
sprinkle with minced parsley and Parmigiano and serve.

Variation: Slice the rolled crespelle into rings before covering in broth. 
Hi Phaed,   wanting to help out I've been perusing the internet again and found what I think 
that lady wanted with that QED picture of a rollup with parmesan and broth over it. During 
the time I was going through every QED cooks, BIG NIGHT movie reference and other it seems 
that some other of Phaedrus elves were also out looking.....just as I came to post this I saw 
there was new info on the site about the request.  I'm still throwing in this website I found 
since it is pretty much what the requestor wanted without a filling..... my best to all..
Crespelle en Brodo
 Take Care,
Mark R. in NJ

Michigan Rocks Cookies

From: Tina
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 11:52 PM
Subject: Uncle Phaedrus,

I’m looking for a recipe for a friend.  It’s a cookie called a Michigan Rock; his great grandmother made them when he was a little boy.  
He describes them as a drop cookie with figs, walnuts and ginger in a sort of sugar cookie dough.  I’ve never heard of them, and as far 
as I know, I don’t have the recipe in my 300+ cookbook collection, so I’m hoping you might be able to help.



Hi Tina,

Food memory is quite often inaccurate, particularly when we are remembering something from our childhood. Children rarely know exact recipe ingredients, so sometimes what we remember is a guess based on a remembered taste from decades ago.

“Michigan Rocks”, “Michigan Rock Cookies” or just “Rocks” are a quite common recipe. So much so that it seems odd that none of your cookbooks would have a recipe for them. Many people make them at Christmas time. They are usually a hard cookie, hence the name “rocks”. Although recipe naming is (lamentably) nothing if not inconsistent, there are usually certain core ingredients that go with a particularly named dish, whether it be a soup or a cake or a casserole or a cookie. In the case of “Michigan Rocks” or “Michigan Rock Cookies”, those core ingredients are: dates, walnuts, and cinnamon. I searched with due diligence, but I did not find any recipes with that name that had figs or ginger. Perhaps what your friend recalls as figs were actually dates. I did find one “rocks” recipe that had ginger, but it was the exception, not the rule, and it also had cinnamon and cloves. I found a “Michigan Rock Cookies" recipe from 1900 that omitted the cinnamon, but it did not have ginger or figs, having the usual dates and walnuts. Major variations among “Michigan Rocks” and “Michigan Rock Cookies” recipes that I found included (in order of frequency of occurrence.): added raisins, added cloves, added grapes, added allspice, or omitted cinnamon.

Below are several examples of recipes for these cookies.


Michigan Rocks

1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 lb. chopped dates
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved in a tiny bit of hot water
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Then add baking soda, cream of tartar and vanilla.  
Mix flour and cinnamon with the walnuts and dates.  Then mix everything together.  
Bake at 300 degrees for 12 minutes on buttered cookie sheets.  
Michigan Rock Cookies

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
3 c. flour
4 well beaten eggs
1 lb. pitted dates
1 lb. shelled walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

  Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 325 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs with vanilla.  
Measure flour.  Remove 3 tablespoons to coat cut up dates.  Break nuts to bite-size.  
Add dry ingredients; add dates and nuts.  Drop on greased cookie sheet.
Michigan Rock Cookies

3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in small amount of hot water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 lb. chopped dates
1 1/2 c. English walnuts, chopped
1 c. grapes, seeded and cut up
3 c. flour

  Cream butter, brown sugar, eggs, and baking soda together and add rest of ingredients.  
Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.

1/2 lb. sugar (approximately 1 cup plus)
6 oz. butter (approximately 1/3 lb.)
2 eggs
1 lb. chopped dates (or whole, cut in half)
1 lb. walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch salt
1/2 lb. flour (1 1/2 cups plus) weigh if possible

Mix all ingredients together.  Drop by spoon onto cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.  
Double recipe for a good amount.  This is an excellent cookie.  
Soft Michigan Rocks Cookies

1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 lb raisins, soaked in hot water 20 minutes
1 lb chopped dates
1 lb chopped English walnuts
1 lg jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder shopping list
3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. 
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Drain raisins and add 2 tbsp flour. Sift together 
dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Mix raisins, dates, cherries and nuts together and 
stir into cookie mixture. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto cookie sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes. 
Remove to racks to cool. 

Thanks Uncle Phaedrus.  My books do mention Rock Cookies, but my friend was quite specific about the Michigan part, 
so I assumed that it was something different.  Of course, I've probably got a couple dozen of the standard Rock Cookie 
recipes around, all quite similar to the ones you've listed.  I think his grandmother probably just had her own variation 
on the standard recipe.  I appreciate the help!

Date Bars

From: jaeda 
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 10:17 AM
Subject: Date bars

I was in a donut shop in Wichita, KS around 1996. They had Date Bars that were delicious.  
They had nuts and powder on top. Would you happen to know the recipe ?   
Thank you and God Bless,

Hello Jaeda,

Diana forwarded your request on to me as she does not do recipe searches such as yours, and I do.

Jaeda, you must understand that your request is very vague. It’s impossible to find a recipe from a particular donut shop without knowing the name of the donut shop. A city the size of Wichita, Kansas must have many donut shops. The other thing that you must understand is that there are hundreds of recipes for date bars and date-nut bars, and most of them have nuts of some kind, and most call for being sprinkled with or being rolled in powdered sugar.

There is a recipe below for date bars with powdered sugar. I hope that it is suitable.


Date Bars

2 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. nuts
1 c. dates, chopped
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. warm water
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. flour

Melt dates in warm water and add baking soda.  Set aside.  Mix eggs, sugar, salt, and butter.  
Mix in nuts and flour.  Add date mixture, mix well.  Bake on cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes 
at 350 degrees until it starts to get golden brown on top.  
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.   

Jamaican BBQ Sauce

From: "Donna" 
Subject: Heloise Jamaican BBQ Sauce
Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013 10:35 AM

Heloise Jamaican Barbecue Sauce
First printed by Heloise in the ‘60s
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar   
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon flavor enhancer (Accent?)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup tomato puree
Mix well and use, or refrigerate in a sealed quart jar.  “When you taste how delicious it is you will
want to make up a double or triple batch.  Heloise II” 

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